Lila Sawyer is a fictional character in the Hey Arnold! TV series.




Lila makes her first appearance in the episode "Ms. Perfect". She is one of P.S. 118's "new kids." She's new to "the big city," having moved with her father from Pleasantville, a farming community.

Lila is, as Helga puts it, "little miss perfect." She's as smart as Phoebe, as stylish as Rhonda, and the most popular girl among the boys. At first, the other girls are jealous, but when they learn about her humble, disadvantaged home life, they begin to sympathize with her.

Helga's dislike for Lila later resurfaces in the episode "Arnold & Lila", even though it is the result of Helga's own actions. Lila decides that she "like-likes" Arnold after finding "Arnold Loves Lila" written on an alley wall while walking home from school. Arnold initially rejects Lila's advances, but eventually develops a crush on her. But by that point, Lila has already gotten over her romantic feelings for Arnold, and says that while she's flattered that he has a crush on her, she only likes him as a friend.

In "School Play", she is assigned the penultimate understudy, making her the last person Helga has to get through in order to play Juliet opposite Arnold as Romeo. However, all of Helga's attempts to get Lila to quit fail. Lila suddenly begins to hint she knows why Helga wants to play Juliet, and says she would be willing to quit if Helga admitted she liked Arnold. Helga eventually admits to Lila that she does have a crush on Arnold, and Lila willingly gives the role to Helga---this makes Lila one of just a few people who know of Helga's crush on Arnold, including Phoebe (Helga's best friend), Dr. Bliss (Helga's therapist) and Brainy (from stalking Helga). Some fans have speculated that Helga's crush on Arnold could be a reason why Lila continues to only like Arnold as a friend.

In "Timberly Loves Arnold", Timberly asks Arnold, "Did anyone ever really hurt your feelings?," and Arnold sadly looks at Lila. After Arnold gets turned down again by Lila at the end of the episode, this time for something Arnold did that even he finds indefensible, he finally decides to try to let go of his romantic feelings for her.

Lila does make an appearance in Hey Arnold!: The Movie, albeit a very brief one as she is only seen in the beginning playing with Sheena, Stinky and Sid. In an interview on The Arun Mehta Show, Craig Bartlett said that "she would not make an appearance in Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie[1]"This later turned out to be false at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con panel, where she appeared in the sneak peek for the film. It's possible that Bartlett simply meant that Lila would not be among the kids who go to San Lorenzo for the main plot of the movie.


  • In the episode "Weird Cousin", we learn she does not like scary movies.
  • In the episode "Love and Cheese", we learn that Lila can't swim and that she's allergic to stuffed animals.
  • In the episode "Eugene, Eugene!" (which is her favorite musical) she shows she's a good, if plain, singer. The song she sings when auditioning indicates that she isn't always as happy as she appears, and that the effort needed to seem perfect and sweet all the time makes her stressed.
  • In the episodes "Love and Cheese" and "Timberly Loves Arnold" she gets sick on rides.
  • In the episode "Big Sis", Lila and Olga Pataki evidently have similar personalities and interests. They have a tickle fight and both are very ticklish. 
  • In her first few appearances, her hair was red. In later episodes, her hair is brown.
  • In personality, she may be inspired by Becky Thatcher from, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", by Mark Twain. Her last name also may be a reference to Tom Sawyer.
  • She has a tendency to add the words "ever so" or "oh so" to just about every sentence she speaks.
  • Despite her kindness and sweetness in just about every episode, in the episode "Phoebe's Little Problem", Lila makes a rude and bored face with the other kids while Phoebe is giving a speech. This is explained by Craig Bartlett in an online chat. He says, "The truth is, the writers didn't think about them, just the main story...and the artists may draw them looking bored, for example, and the fans are all 'hey, they don't even care about Phoebe!'"
  • In an interview, Craig Bartlett claims that Lila has a repressed dark side and in another interview, he says that she seemed innocent at first and that the writers didn't hate her until she started seeming evil, although he says that he himself likes her and is apologetic about dragging out Arnold's pining for her too long.

Appears in


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